Super interesting. For some time we had problems explaining the operation of some mechanical structures until we did a dynamic 3D in ACAD, however it required someone to spend some valuable time and learn how to do it. It is not easy.
I looks that this new idea may make these presentations simpler to make.
I think you're going to see a lot more activity on both the software and hardware front in terms of advancing 3D printing capabilities and making them more accessible. Now that the costs have come down on the hardware, and the noise level is reaching a pitch in terms of what's possible, vendors from all sides seem to be all over the category and really pushing some pretty unique innovations.
And I guess the price issue is all relative. 3D printers that cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 are considered cheap by traditional standards, but that's still a hefty cost for hobbyists and home-based innovators and even for smaller engineering shops.
You are 100% correct. I think the price level should be in couple of $100s. Personaly I go through 1-2 printers/year, as it is not cost smart to fix them. I just replace them. For the 3D ones, clearly you need to pay premium, but it is still too high.
Great article. I know countless engineers who need this technology for prototyping of parts, but I can also imagine it being a hit in homes if the cost drops a little bit more. This, in itself, could be the toy of the century.
Charles, I so agree that this application in itself, coupled with 3D printing, could be the toy of the century. It can be already with 3D printing accessed through services such as Shapeways, Ponoko, i.materialise, Sculpteo to name but a few. They have made access to 3D printing pain free. I think that the important nub of this article is that My Robot Nation is software application that will enable anyone to 3D model their robot. CAD is the barrier for the vast majority for creating the model to print. I look forward to seeing the scope My Robot Nation offers for modelling. We definitely need the range of software applications and usability to cover all types of creativity. Anarkik3D's haptic Cloud9 product also fits into the space that the article has focused on as it enables a different group, makers and artists, ranging from professionals to amateurs and hobbyists, to 3D model and get printing! This video we made covers this beautifully http://vimeo.com/27626576 Its great to see collaborations such as this between My Robot Nation and ZCorp flagged up, which knock down barrier to 3D printing and give access to non CAD users.
Toy of the century--you both may be on to something. But I agree with Sensor Pro that the price point has to come down even further, likely to the sub-$1,000 range, before people will consider 3D printers as yet another must-have piece of electronics equipment for the home.
Schools also seem to be highly interested in the 3D print revolution, seeing the technology as a way to help students bring their ideas and studies to life. The more the younger generation gets used to this kind of technology, the more comfortable they become and the more likely they are to wield it in the engineering jobs of the future.
Schools and educators are very interested in 3D printing technology to help boost their students' knowledge and to be able to create 3D models at school, rather than having to order them. One product schools are very inteterested in is 2BOT's ModelMaker. 2BOT even has a website with models connected to lesson plans for teachers to use in class.
Thanks for the link, John. I've seen a bunch of teachers interviewed lately taking about how they're leveraging 3D printing services and capabilities in the classroom. Great opportunity for the kids--problem is who is going to pay for it with today's depleted budgets.
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There’s a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
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